I’ve tried to avoid most of the discussion surrounding reclining seats, the Knee Defender and flight diversions. Mostly because I thought it should be obvious that such a fight is ridiculous in every conceivable context. Alas, it seems that it isn’t so obvious. The guy involved in the first of the recent diversions spoke out finally, sharing his version of the story. Alas, I’m not so sure it helps his case.
The gist of it is that he complied with the flight attendant’s request to allow the passenger to recline and then when she did he got pissed and reacted badly. Things escalated from there.
That’s when Beach’s anger boiled over. He said he pushed the woman’s seat forward and put the Knee Defender back in. The woman stood up and threw a cup of soda — not water, as previously reported — at him.
So the guy was a schmuck and reacted badly to a scenario which was less than ideal, causing more unfortunate behavior. And, eventually, a flight diversion inconveniencing everyone on board. And the follow-on stories have mostly been about how awful the coach flying experience is and how the airlines are evil, crushing our knees and our souls as they cram more people into every plane to increase their profits.
Except that version of the story misses a key fact: The incident happened in United’s Economy Plus section. He had 35 inches of pitch at his disposal (plenty of first class seats are only 36-37″) and still somehow decided that wasn’t enough. And that 35″ spacing is MORE than airlines had in coach 10+ years ago, back in the “good old days” where there were fewer passengers on board. There is simply no excuse, other than that the guy is a schmuck. Or, perhaps a bit more to the point:
Added bonus: Despite being informed that using the Knee Defender device is prohibited on US airlines he says he plans to continue using it when he flies.
Am I the only one who wants the next incident to result in some people being arrested rather than just inconveniencing the 100+ others on the plane who had to suffer their idiocy??
Probably not the salute he was hoping for.
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